Review: Volkswagen Autostadt, Wolfsburg (2023)

What exactly is Volkswagen’s Autostadt? Is it a brand museum? Is it a theme park? Or is it something else? It’s hard to get a grasp on it, and I suspect that for many potential visitors, while that might not put them off visiting, it might lose Autostadt a few places on their ‘must see’ list.

The answer is: Autostadt is all of those, but first and foremost it is a delivery centre for new VW cars.

Back in the old days everybody bought a new car through a dealership, but here in the 21st century we buy things online. Most VW buyers outside Germany will collect their new car from their local VW dealership regardless of whether they bought it through the dealer or online, but German buyers can collect it straight from the factory, and many of them do.

However that is a bit of a logistical problem. The VW plant at Wolfsburg in Lower Saxony churns out around 780,000 cars a year*, that’s over 2000 cars a day and of those, around 500 a day are collected from the factory by their new owners. So, imagine the scene in the huge car park…

“Horst, Mr Schmidt is here for his new Golf. It’s in Row 51R, space 82. Can you get it for him?”

Poor Horst has to find the right car, hoping one of his colleagues hasn’t parked it in the wrong space or in one of those spaces near the wall where he’ll have to move another car out of the way so he can manoeuver it out. He’ll need to check it hasn’t been scratched, wash the dust/snow off, fix the new number plate on, and bring it back to the front desk for Mr Schmidt… and he & his colleagues have to do that 500 times a day.

Here comes the really clever part

Volkswagen saw this problem coming and in 2000 they built two 48m high glass-enclosed car parks – fully-automated and computer controlled. As new vehicles roll off the production line they are conveyed through a tunnel to the towers where robotic lifts carry them up into a space to await their moment of delivery in factory-mint condition. Not a human involved, no dents or scratches, no dust, no snow, and no missing cars.

If that wasn’t clever enough, here comes the really clever part.

For most people, buying a new car is a major moment; a moment to be savoured, an experience to be enjoyed, a real day out – ‘bring the family’!

So Volkswagen turned the collection process into an event, and the delivery centre became part of a theme park with gardens, children’s playgrounds, retail outlets, food outlets, brand pavilions (for VW brands), art & performance venues, a motoring history museum, driving experiences, and even a 5-star luxury Ritz-Carlton hotel.

And you don’t have to buy a Volkswagen car to enjoy it!

(I think they might be missing a trick there: “Mummy, you haven’t bought a new car for ages and we want to go to Autostadt! Pleeeeeze!”)

Visiting Autostadt

Autostadt Reception (Swipe left or click arrow for more…)

Audi RSQ concept car in the reception hall

Visits start at the cavernous reception centre. From here you can make your own way around Autostadt or take a guided tour. Our guide, Renke Niemann, was a walking database of VW production and history.

“Tell me, Renke, what is the mix of fuel types you make these days?”

“Well, a decade ago it was roughly 50/50% diesel/petrol. Now there are hardly any diesels and some models have no provision for a diesel engine at all. These days 20-25% are electric and 5-10% hybrid”

“So electrics cars are beginning to dominate, despite range anxiety?”

“The models with the biggest batteries can do 560 kms now, and it keeps increasing. But just as important now is the rate of charge. When the ID.3 first came out, they could use 120kw chargers. Then a few weeks later it was 125kw, and now the ID.4 can charge at 170kw. And all of these are purely through software updates”

He never paused, never checked his phone. There wasn’t a question he couldn’t answer and expand on**. Ask for him by name if you get a chance!

As we walk through the landscaped gardens and water features on our way to one of the towers, we pass an outdoor auditorium, used in the summer for concerts and other performances. There’s a fairly packed programme of concerts during the year and in December there is a large Christmas festival held in the park with a 6,000m² ice skating area.

(Video) VW Autostadt - A MUST SEE Automotive Theme Park

Outdoor performance space (Swipe left or click arrow for more…)

Summer concert (Photo: Roland Hermstein)

Autostadt Winter Wonderland (Photo: Matthias Leitzke)

Some visitors come for practical reasons. Autostadt offers safety training for car, van and RV drivers, and motorcycle training courses.

4-wheel fun (Photo: Franjkovic, Chris) Swipe left or click arrow for more…

Driver training (Photo: Nils Hendrik Mueller)

The park’s all-terrain track gives drivers a chance to try their 4-wheel drive, off-road skills for fun, or in a safety training course, to practise evasive manoeuvres, skid control and ascents on different road surfaces.

Auto Towers and Delivery/Customer Centre

The two vertical car parks can hold 380 and 375 cars each, a total of 755 cars awaiting their owners. What’s astonishing is that there is a continuous high-frequency cycle of cars being stored and retrieved, so when you look at a tower, all the cars you see will be handed over to their owners today, or tomorrow.

Review: Volkswagen Autostadt, Wolfsburg (10)

The lifts (there are two in each tower) are reportedly the fastest car lifts in the world, travelling at up to 2m/sec. Sounds impressive but really, is there much competition? Well, apparently more than you would think. A number of major cities like New York & Tokyo have automated car parks, and many motor manufacturers have followed VW’s lead and built similar storage systems.

As we watch the cars moving about in Tower No.2 we also notice some people on an enhanced tour inside the tower where they can see the system up close. There is even a special tour for romantics to get engaged at the top of the tower.

Just across from the towers, again connected by tunnel, is the Customer Centre where car and owner meet for the first time… and literally start from scratch with zero kilometres showing on the odometer – one of the perks of a factory collection!

Buyers & guests wait in the lounge upstairs (there’s a play area to keep youngsters amused) and then, when their new car is brought onto the floor, they go down to collect it.

How long does that handover process take? Usually around 15 – 30 minutes, but some new owners, especially those transitioning from a petrol car to an electric car or hybrid, or from a manual to an automatic car, might want to take their time to fully understand their new car. There is no rush. The staff will stay with them as long as it takes. Some of the staff have had 2 – 4hr handovers.

What’s the quickest handover? Well there was one guy, says Renke, who phoned ahead to say his wife had gone into labour and he needed his car really quickly! They retrieved the car and sent him on his way in 10 minutes!

The red car in the foreground (above) is slightly unusual. Renke explains that Germans tend to prefer plain colours. Only 8% of cars sold in the German market are red or blue. The rest are Black, White, Grey and Silver.

The Brand Pavilions

The Volkswagen Group has a lot of brands and some of them are represented in the park in their own pavilions – VW itself, Skoda, Audi, SEAT, & Porsche.

(Video) You Have to See How Epic Volkswagen's Enormous Car Storage Centre

Audi A6 e-tron (Swipe left or click arrow for more…)

Audi RS e-tron GT

Audi E-tron Quattro

Here is where you can see the latest models and concept ideas. In the case of the Audi pavilion there are four state-of-the-art Audis to drool over. It’s a bit like a car showroom, with staff hovering nearby to answer questions, and I’m guessing, take advance orders.

The ZeitHaus Museum

For non-VW-buying petrol heads and classic car enthusiasts, the 5-storey ZeitHaus Museum is a ‘must see’.

Who doesn’t love an E-type Jaguar!

It is a collection of historic cars that have in some way been revolutionary and/or influenced the global auto industry. The cars displayed here are changed from time to time, but whatever the display catalogue, there are some spectacular automobiles in here!***

It’s roughly chronological and it starts at the top with a replica of Carl Benz’s 1888 Patent Motorwagen (the one his wife, Bertha, famously ‘borrowed’ to go visit her mum in Pforzheim, 106 kms away).

For me, the highlights were the Rembrandt Bugatti, some of the early streamlined cars, and the E-type. Who doesn’t love an E-type Jaguar!

Zeithaus museum exterior (Photo: Nils Hendrik Müller) Swipe left or click arrow for more…

Benz Motorwagen replica – the first game-changer

1930 Cadillac V16 – world’s first 16 cylinder production car with auto adjusting tappets

1936 Tatra 87 – How cool is that fin?! The 1st mass-produced car to incorporate wind-tunnel testing in its design… in the 1930s

1936 Tatra 87 interior

(Video) VLOG Ritz Carlton & Autostadt Wolfsburg - Hotel Review und Winter Wunderland

Vehicle gallery

Zeithaus Museum cars

1950 Volkswagen TYP2 T1 van – Aerodynamically enhanced bodywork and lightweight construction… for a van!

1954 Bentley R-type – a design classic

1956 Citroen DS 19 – It was all about the hydropneumatic suspension!

1959 FMR KR 200 – a micro car with an amazing low-drag coefficient for the 1950s

1964 E-type Jaguar… enough said!

1975 Lamborghini Countach – a 1975 design classic supercar

1975 Lamborghini Countach. Now THAT is an a*se!

1982 DeLorean DMC-12 – First series production car with an all-steel bodywork

1982 DeLorean DMC-12 – Why am I beginning to see sparks flying off that?!

(Video) VW AUTOSTADT - Wolfsburg 2022

1998 Volkswagen XL1 low drag test car. World record holder for fuel efficiency

1934 Bugatti 57 SC Atlantic

Known as the Rembrandt Bugatti – This is SO Cruella de Ville!

And speaking of Bugattis…

The Premium Clubhouse

… has just one beautiful exhibit. A Bugatti Veyron 16.4 in a mirror finish and in a mirrored setting.

The only other exhibit in the clubhouse is also pretty stunning; the Bugatti Veyron’s 16-cylinder, 8L, 1,000+ HP engine.

The Veyron may no longer be the world’s fastest production car but this engine will still push it along at over 400 kph. Its assembled 3,700 parts – some of them in titanium, magnesium and aluminium – make it a work of art in its own right.

* that figure dropped to around 500,000 during the pandemic and supply chain crisis in recent years, but has recovered more recently.

** Of course Renke could have been bullsh*tting, but I was with a group of journos who can normally detect a bullsh*tter within a heartbeat!

*** VW have a secret depot somewhere where they keep the bulk of their classic car collection. There used to be a top-of-the-range tour package which involved staying at the Ritz-Carlton and then being taken in a classic car to the depot for a private tour, but they’ve stopped that now for security reasons.

Declaration: I was on a press trip to the region. The Autostadt visit was complementary. As usual, all views my own.

Factbox 2023


Getting there:
38440 Wolfsburg

If you are driving it is around 20 mins off the A2 autobahn which runs between Berlin & Hanover. It’s easy to find. Wolfsburg is a bit of a ‘one horse town’; there’s the Volkswagen plant and Volkswagen Autostadt and they are right at the heart of the city.

The train station, on the InterCity IC-141 & IC 143 routes, is a ten minute walk away from Autostadt.

If you are flying, the nearest airport is Hanover. BA fly to Hanover from Heathrow.


If you plan to stay over there are a number of on-site and near by.

  • Ritz Carlton 5-star, on site
  • Courtyard by Marriott 4-star, 2 km
  • Global Inn, 3-star, 3 km
  • And the cheapest option of all: if you have your own RV or caravan you can stay in one of the Autostadt car parks for 9 euros a night (max 3 nights) water & electricity included.

Opening Hours:

Autostadt is open 363 days a year, from 10.00am to 6.00pm. (Restaurant opening times differ, and so do the opening hours for the Delivery Centre.)

6.00pm is when the pavilions, exhibitions, museums, and shops close, but you can still wander around the park in the evening.

Entry Price:

Adult€ 18.00
Reduced price*€ 14.00
Child (6-17 yrs), student (to 17 yrs)€ 6.00
Family (2 adults and up to 3 children)€ 35.00
Small Family (1 adult and up to 3 children)€ 25.00

Students 18+, disabled, senior citizens (from 60 onwards). Valid identity card required.

(Video) 2023 Volkswagen 🚘Autostadt Wolfsburg Germany Bugatti Mini Porsche Golf

Tours & Experiences (per adult):

Overview Tour (1hr)€ 6.00
Tour & Car Tower*€ 15.00
VW Factory Tour€ 10.00
Touareg and Amarok all-terrain track training€ 39.00
Tiguan, Kodiaq and friends all-terrain track experience€ 29.00
Driver Safety TrainingFrom € 29.00

Further Reading


What VW models made in Wolfsburg? ›

The world's largest single car manufacturing complex, with a workforce of about 15,000 people, produces the Volkswagen Golf, Golf GTE 01, Golf GTI 02, Golf R 03, Golf Variant, Tiguan, Tiguan R 04, Touran, SEAT Tarraco und SEAT Tarraco e-HYBRID 06 for more than 50 countries around the world.

How big is the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg? ›

The Wolfsburg Volkswagen Factory is the worldwide headquarters of the Volkswagen Group, and one of the largest manufacturing plants in the world, in terms of area at just under 6.5 million m² (70 million sq ft).

What is the high end version of Volkswagen? ›

Which Automaker Owns Audi? Audi manufactures luxury cars under the Volkswagen Group.

Why is it called Wolfsburg Edition? ›

Best Answer. Dear bunda-- Volkswagen has used the designation "Wolfsburg Edition" on several of their models through the years as a way of honoring the city where Volkswagens were originally built, Wolfsburg, Germany.

How many cars does Wolfsburg produce a year? ›

Volkswagen will build their $2.2 billion, EV-only manufacturing plant in Wolfsburg, Germany. The state-of-the-art facility will be located near the firm's headquarters and will produce around 250,000 cars per year.

Is the Wolfsburg Edition made in Germany? ›

Contrary to popular belief, these models were not assembled at Volkswagen's main plant in Wolfsburg; they were built right alongside all other Cabriolet models at the Karmann factory in Osnabrück, Germany. "Wolfsburg Edition" is simply a smart marketing name.

Is Volkswagen a high end car? ›

Volkswagen is not a luxury car brand, but it does own several luxury brands such as Porsche, Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, and Bugatti. While some Volkswagen models, such as the Arteon and Touareg, offer premium features and design, they are still considered mainstream vehicles.

Which VW holds its value best? ›

One of its most popular cars, the Volkswagen Polo, holds its value the most out of its competitor cars.

What is the best VW for seniors? ›

Volkswagen Golf SV

The front seats are almost 60mm higher than the hatchback, which means elderly motorists and passengers can avoid the dreaded stoop. There's plenty of leg room in the front and back seats, which makes the Golf SV great for passengers with knee issues.

What are the top 3 cars of Volkswagen? ›

Top 3 Volkswagen car model prices are Volkswagen Virtus price (Rs. 11.48 - 18.77 Lakh), Volkswagen Taigun price (Rs. 11.62 - 19.46 Lakh), Volkswagen Tiguan price (Rs. 34.70 Lakh) .

What is special about Wolfsburg Edition? ›

To both commemorate the prior success - the reference to Wolfsburg, the site of the main VW factory since the 1930s - and some added blingification - new colors, special combinations, etc. There was no “set” thing that made a given car a Wolfsburg Edition - it was whatever the factory decided to do to boost sales.

What do you get with a Wolfsburg Edition? ›

Car Details

Top of the range Wolfsburg Edition with all the extras and more including heated, ventilated and massaging seats, night vision headlamps, sunroof, premium sound system and more. This is also fitted with a Tow bar ready to take you on any adventure in next level comfort.

What does VW Wolfsburg logo mean? ›

Volkswagens built before 1953 have also carried a second logo depicting the crest of the city of Wolfsburg, which had been known as KdF-Stadt ("Strength through Joy City") early in the Nazis' ascent to power. Following the war, the city was renamed after the nearby Wolf's Castle.

What is the most produced car in Germany? ›

Best-Selling Car Brands in Germany in 2022 (Full Year)
German Car Market2,622,132
34 more rows
Jan 4, 2023

How much does Volkswagen pay in Wolfsburg? ›

Volkswagen Group in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony Salaries
Job TitleLocationSalary
Internship salaries - 21 salaries reportedWolfsburg, Lower Saxony€18,613/yr
Software Engineer salaries - 16 salaries reportedWolfsburg, Lower Saxony€68,112/yr
Sachbearbeiter salaries - 14 salaries reportedWolfsburg, Lower Saxony€78,916/yr
17 more rows

What is the most produced car in history? ›

World's bestsellers
AutomobileProductionYears sold
Ford Model T1908–271908–27
Lada "Classic"1970–20141970–2014
Volkswagen Beetle1938–20031938–2003
Toyota Corolla1966–present1966–present

What does Wolfsburg mean in German? ›

Wolfsburg. / (German ˈvɔlfsbʊrk) / noun. a city in N central Germany, in Lower Saxony: founded in 1938; motor-vehicle industry.

Which VW models are still made in Germany? ›

Volkswagen cars are now built all across the globe, but Golf, Rabbit, and GTI models are still made in the company's home town of Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen cars come from a manufacturing company based in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, Germany.

Why is Wolfsburg important? ›

Wolfsburg is famous as the location of Volkswagen AG's headquarters and the world's biggest car plant.

Which is better Volkswagen or Toyota? ›

In terms of reliability ratings, Toyota has the advantage in 5 out of 6 comparisons. Volkswagen has better safety ratings in 5 out of 10 comparisons while Toyota has better safety ratings in 3 out of 10 comparisons. Toyota and Volkswagen tie for safety in 2 comparisons.

Do Volkswagen cars hold their value? ›

Volkswagens tend to hold a good amount of value over time, with certain models depreciating only about 40% after three years of ownership. Mileage: Your car's mileage directly relates to its condition. If you've racked up 100,000 miles or more, you might have to bring the price down.

Is Volkswagen a reliable car to buy? ›

Most problems start to appear once there are many miles on the car, something other car brands can't say. Overall, Volkswagen is an excellent choice for a car, as it's reliable, affordable, and won't leave drivers going to a mechanic repeatedly. It's been a solid choice for many years and many more years to come.

Which VW models are built in Germany? ›

Volkswagen cars are now built all across the globe, but Golf, Rabbit, and GTI models are still made in the company's home town of Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen cars come from a manufacturing company based in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, Germany.

What car manufacturer is in Wolfsburg? ›

Volkswagen headquarters in Wolfsburg Germany is one of the largest and most advanced car factories in the world. Right next door is the exciting Autostadt, our £270m City of Cars, built to celebrate the history, the present and the future of Volkswagen.

What car companies are in Wolfsburg? ›

The corporation is based in Wolfsburg and operates as the parent company of the car brands Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Škoda; the premium brands Bentley, Bugatti, Ducati, Lamborghini and Porsche; and the commercial vehicle companies MAN and Scania.

Which German motor vehicle manufacturer is based in Wolfsburg? ›

Volkswagen (German pronunciation: [ˈfɔlksˌvaːɡn̩] ( listen)), abbreviated as VW ([faʊˈveː] ( listen)), is a German motor vehicle manufacturer headquartered in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, Germany.

What is the most popular VW in Germany? ›

The VW Golf has been the best-selling car model in Germany for every calendar year since 1981. It was last outsold in 1980 — by the Mercedes-Benz W123 (E-Class).

Which VW are built in USA? ›

In North America, the Volkswagen Passat and Volkswagen Atlas are made in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Here are some of the other manufacturing locations where Volkswagen cars and SUVs are made: Chattanooga, Tennessee. Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Are Volkswagens expensive to maintain? ›

According to RepairPal, Volkswagen maintenance costs are about $676 per year on average, which is only a few dollars higher than the industry average. However, Volkswagen's 2021 models show improved maintenance costs according to a recent Vincentric study.

Are German cars made in China? ›

Germany's major car brands have been producing cars in China for decades. The world's second largest automotive manufacturer Volkswagen started making its cars in China in 1985 and now produce over three million cars in their Chinese factories each year.

Who is the ownership of Wolfsburg? ›

Professional football is run by the spin-off organization VfL Wolfsburg-Fußball GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group.

What is the most famous German car company? ›

BMW. BMW – or Bayerische Motoren Werke – was founded in 1916 by Franz Josef Poppe and became an automaker in 1929.

Which is better German or Japanese cars? ›

For years, this question was a 'no brainer'. If you wanted quality engineering, performance, reliability and exceptional build quality, you bought German cars. However, Japan has been steadily building a reputation that easily matches the very finest that Europe has to offer, and now the picture isn't quite so clear.

Are German cars reliable? ›

Cars made in Germany were once prized for their superior engineering and quality. However, German vehicle reliability has steadily declined over the last few decades. Various dependability and owner satisfaction studies show that several makes from Germany have been outshined by French and Korean makers.


1. An insiders look at classics & new cars at VW's Autostadt in Germany
(The Fast Lane Car)
2. Urban Automotive Visits the Wolfsburg Autostadt and the Volkswagen Factory @UrbanAutomotive01
(Urban Automotive)
(Ritwik Banerjee)
4. VW Autostadt Tower Ride
(Chris Beveridge - Brantford Volkswagen)
5. Offroad Autostadt Wolfsburg
6. VW CLASSICS | Autostadt Wolfsburg | VWHome


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